Paul E. Graves (ta_paulgraves) wrote in two_alleys_rpg,
Paul E. Graves

I Aim to Misbehave - Summer, 1996

Amelia Bones was dead, killed by Death-Eaters.

Paul Graves read The Daily Prophet article with a sick feeling in his innards. Amelia Bones had been the head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, one of the most skilled witches of the decade. She wasn't even Muggleborn, he thought and tried to stifle the shudder that ran through him. He put the newspaper down with a savage slap against the table. Dear God, how long can this go on?

Not far on the heels of that thought came the question, What can I do about it? Paul sipped at his breakfast tea and mulled the issue over. They murdered Elizabeth. I'm damned if I'll just sit by and let these bastards run roughshod over the country. Not again.

Paul scowled into his teacup. But how?

He sighed and got up from the table, vanishing the breakfast dishes with a sweep of his wand. They reappeared in the kitchen, where Mrs. Fanshaw, the housekeeper, would wash them when she came in. Paul saw no need for House Elves.

More precisely, Paul saw no need to have in his home creatures who could not or would not speak the Queen's English. There were plenty of wizarding folk who needed the wage, so the idea of using House Elves had always seemed a ridiculous affectation to Paul.

Besides, he suspected the Death-Eaters were terribly fond of the practice, and that was reason enough not to engage in it.

Paul left the kitchen and headed down one of the long corridors of Arbour Grove House to his study. It was a comfortable, old room, smelling of book leather and lemon-scented furniture polish. Idly, Paul wondered whether Mrs. Fanshaw used magic or the Muggle variety, but as long as the furniture was dusted and polished, he didn't really care.

He shut the door to his study and glanced at the portrait of Reverend John Graves, which hung behind his desk. "The Death-Eaters have struck again--a tactical strike, this time. They've killed the head of the DMLE."

"Who? What?" The Reverend put down the book he had been reading in his painting and pushed his spectacles higher up on the bridge of his nose. "Are you talking about Death-Eaters again, my boy? They seem like quite disgraceful people."

"The Boneses are one of the most respected wizarding families in England," Paul said. "I am going to do something about these depradations. Alone, I could do little. But I now have the resources of an entire organisation at my disposal. I intend to use them."

Reverend Graves blinked at him. "The Ordo?" he asked.

Paul nodded. "I don't plan a grief-maddened vendetta, as I would have done ten years ago. I mean to do what I can to get rid of these people. And I plan to enlist the Ordo's help."

"Hunting villainy is not the Ordo Ravus' purpose, you know," the Reverend said. "I know you, boy. You're quite capable of directing these people as if they were soldiers in a war. But they're not. They're scholars and philosophers. Bookworms. Ravenclaws, the majority of them. You want Gryffindors, my boy."

"Considering that my House was Slytherin, I am unlikely to get much help from anyone who used to be a Gryffindor--unless they are singularly open-minded," Paul replied. "Had I not married Elizabeth, I would doubtless be suspected of being a Death-Eater, already."

"Be that as it may, the members of the Ordo Ravus are not your personal army," the Reverend said. "You cannot just tell them they're going to fight Death-Eaters now and expect to be obeyed. I'd bet most of them would quit."

"Isn't that rather giving insult to the courage of scholars in general?" Paul argued. "I should think they love England as much as anyone and would be willing to fight to keep her safe from the likes of...Riddle."

"Perhaps," the Reverend admitted. "But I still think this is a bad idea. Don't forget, most of my classmates at seminary were Ravenclaws--the wizarding classmates, anyway. Buried in books, the lot of them, and quite content to remain so."

Paul stared back at the Reverend's portrait. "Contentment is a luxury that we can ill afford, now," he said. "Disregarding them is a luxury we absolutely cannot afford. These people must be stopped or at least curbed."

"How do you propose to accomplish this?" the Reverend asked. "You spoke of not going on a grief-maddened vendetta. Well, death is the only sure way of getting rid of any of them."

"Why should you kill, when you can paralyse?" Paul countered. "Granted, some of them may be so far gone that death is the only solution for dealing with them. I'll leave that to the courts; I am no barrister. But I am a businessman, and if there is anything I know how to wield, it is information and money.

"We can ruin them. We can expose them. We can make it so hot for them that they have no choice but to go underground. We can make the consequences of committing their horrendous acts so costly to them that they'll think twice before going through with plans.

"But as long as we cower like sheep and pretend the Death-Eaters will go away if we ignore them long enough,, we will accomplish nothing. We will only make the country even more dangerous for ourselves and our children. What happens when they've killed all the Muggles and Muggleborn wizards? Will they start on the halfbloods, next? And then perhaps move on to the less rapacious purebloods? We have to act."

Paul paused for breath and found the Reverend looking at him. "Nice speech. Rehearsing it for the Ordo, are you?"

"That would be telling," Paul replied with a slight smile. "But I think you for being such a stimulating captive audience, sir."

By Chantal

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